BEIJING, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- An official with the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) told Xinhua on Friday that China's demarcation proposal of the outer limits of its continental shelf in the East China Sea is based on substantial scientific and legal grounds.
China on Friday presented to the UN Secretariat its Partial Submission Concerning the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf beyond 200 Nautical Miles in the East China Sea.
Chen Lianzeng, deputy head of the SOA, said physiognomy and geological characteristics show that the continental shelf in the East China Sea is the natural prolongation of China's land territory.
As the geological characteristics of the Okinawa Trough are significantly different to those of the continental shelf in the East China Sea, the Okinawa Trough should be recognized as the natural end of the East China Sea continental shelf, Chen added.
Legally speaking, as the continental shelf in the East China Sea shares the same geological characteristics as China's territorial continent, it could be deemed as the natural prolongation of the land territory under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Chen said.
He added, moreover, that the width of China's continental shelf in the East China Sea is measured more than 200 nautical miles from the baselines of the territorial sea of China, so China has the right to claim the continental shelf beyond the 200 nautical miles.
The SOA deputy chief said it will take a long time for the UN to evaluate China's proposal, as continental shelf demarcation involves complicated scientific and technological problems, and there is already a pile of proposals queuing for evaluations.
However, Chen added, even if evaluation of China's proposal is slow, it does not affect China claiming its rights to the continental shelf in the East China Sea.